There are several common myths or misunderstandings about hearing loss and hearing aids.
Myth one: “Hearing aids will make me look older and handicapped.” From the Better Hearing Institute, “Looking older is…more affected by almost all other factors besides hearing aids. It is not the hearing aids that make one look older; it is what one may believe they imply. If hearing aids help you function like a normal hearing person, …the stigma is removed.”
Hearing aid manufacturers are aware that looks can be an obstacle to wearing a hearing aid. There are hearing aids that fit totally in the ear canal or are so small they hide behind the ear. Keep in mind that “a hearing loss is more obvious than a hearing aid.” Nodding and smiling when you do not understand what was said actually makes your hearing loss more apparent than the largest hearing aid on the market.
Myth two: “My hearing loss is normal for my age.” There are many people in their 90s that do not have hearing loss that requires hearing help. And, there are many people in their 30s who do need hearing help. Activities that you did as a child, teenager or young adult can affect the progression of hearing loss. Hearing loss is never “normal”.
Myth three: “Your hearing loss cannot be helped.” This is certainly not true in the 21st century. People with hearing loss in one ear, with a high-pitched hearing loss or “nerve damage” can be helped as never before. Digital technology and miniaturization have provided solutions for many people who may have rejected amplification in the past.
The first step to hearing help is a complete audiological evaluation. If a hearing impairment is determined, there are options available to fit any hearing loss and lifestyle.